Man jailed after bomb threats in police stand-off

New Queen street property view.Picture Richard Ponter 131911a
New Queen street property view.Picture Richard Ponter 131911a

A Scarborough man has been jailed for two years after threatening to blow up a block of flats during a six-hour stand-off with police.

Ian Ireland, who had had a row with his girlfriend over her alleged infidelity, claimed to have napalm, potassium bombs and an AK47 assault rifle in his New Queen Street flat.

During the stand-off on May 5, Ireland, 32, was seen hanging out of his window with a knife and a hammer and started throwing items, including a television, into the street.

Eventually police and bomb squad officers smashed the flat door off its hinges in the early hours to find that Ireland was drowsy after taking anti-depressant tablets belonging to his girlfriend and drinking heavily.

However, fortunately, police did not uncover any bombs.

After a row in the Wellington pub with his girlfriend, Ireland returned home, threatening to kill himself and harm anyone who approached.

The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said during Tuesday’s hearing at York Crown Court, that the police, particularly police Sgt Simon Jolly - the first officer of the scene - had shown considerable constraint in winning over Ireland and then dealing with the situation, without injury to anyone, not knowing that his threats were “hollow”.

Describing Ireland’s actions as “alarming”, the judge heard that he had a long record of offending in different parts of the country, including public order offences, violence and assaulting police officers.

After he was arrested, Ireland was to tell the police that he was not himself when drunk and that he had in the past been shot with a rubber bullet by police and “sent off to the nut house” - such an incident not appearing on his criminal record, but being believed to have been dealt with by other methods.

Glenn Parsons, mitigating, said that his client, who later told a probation officer that he had “gone berserk”, had admitted the charge of affray and two counts of criminal damage at the earliest opportunity.

He added that no injury had been sustained by anyone in the stand-off and that his client was determined to re-train whist in custody and return to the London area to find work.

The judge said that he was sure that after “drying out” Ireland had come to realise the seriousness of his actions on the day in question.